Donner Pass and Andesite Peak

While the hike up to Castle Peak is famous among hikers, I preferred the less-visited Andesite Peak to its south-west. A good summer time hike out of the worst of the heat, this was still a three mile trek at elevation.

Castle meadow is just a short jaunt up from the end of the road if you want a break or picnic while driving through

Heading up you see a lot of glacial remnants from when giant glaciers that dragged, lifted and dropped giant boulders in random places as they melted

Another glacial erratic

The mountain was pretty but dark due to the thunder clouds gathering

Should I be hiking up to a mountaintop in weather like this?

Onward, some bare hillsides

But others were covered in flowers, such as these asters


This was quite an odd flower

There were some sundew carnivorous plants near a bog

The nutrients are so poor here that they eat bugs by dissolving them using the tiny hairs and droplets on the leaf surfaces

Milkweed I think

But could be something else entirely

It was all over

Cute pink monkeyflower

Bright orange

Some yellow mules ears further uphill

Then I made it to the pass after a very steep trail segment where I got some pretty good shots

These are almost all looking south, east and west


Castle Peak getting brighter


Andesite Peak up ahead, mostly clear skies

I’m beat, but let’s go

Whew! Much higher up here, that is donner lake in the upper center

Andesite is made up of many other rocks and dust and ash from volcanic eruptions, so this area was appropriately nammed

Very cool rocks, almost like concrete

Looking back on the meadow we passed on the way up

And a final look at Castle Peak since I need to get down to avoid the lightning

But a few more pics from the top

Ah, the back side of Northstar ski resort

Please open this up in a separate window, the panorama is really spectacular, spanning the sierra crest from east to west

And finish it off with a sunset from the Sierra Valley the night before

I just stared and stared until this one faded away, it was breathtaking

Next time I will finally be using pictures saved on my new computer, and posting should be easier and slightly more frequent, thank you for hanging in there with me.   J

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1 Response to Donner Pass and Andesite Peak

  1. James W Peterson says:

    Thanks for your photos. Haven’t heard about a Reggae on the River for this year. If there’s not one this year, hope to see you in MMXIX.

    El Paso

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